Sep 14 2013
Police investigating a murder possibly linked to a fire which killed a family have arrested a man and two women.
The three, all aged 19, have been held over the killing of a man in his 20s in Leicester on Thursday. Police said the man was arrested in London.
Police believe the family may have been killed in a revenge attack, which neighbours believe may have been a case of mistaken identity. Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, died along with her 19-year-old daughter and sons, aged 17 and 15, when their home was engulfed in flames early on Friday.
The mother and her children, named by the local mosque in Leicester as Zainab, Jamal and Bilal, died in their bedrooms at their terraced house in Wood Hill in the Spinney Hills area of the city several hours after a man was killed in nearby Kent Street.
Mrs Taufiq's neurosurgeon husband, Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, is believed to be on his way home from Ireland, where he works.
Police have said they cannot rule out a link between the two events and they are investigating whether the fire was started intentionally as a revenge attack. Leicestershire Police has not confirmed the identities of the five victims.
The force launched its first murder inquiry shortly after 5.30pm on Thursday when a man in his 20s was taken from Kent Street - half a mile away from the scene of the fire - to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he died. A second inquiry began when neighbours reported flames shooting out of the first floor of the Taufiq family home at 12.30am.
Assistant Chief Constable Roger Bannister said officers were investigating a theory that Mrs Taufiq and her children were killed in revenge for the earlier attack. He said: "I can't confirm here and now it is a revenge attack - it may be, it may not be - but lines of inquiry will certainly get to the bottom of that."
Urging witnesses to get in touch, he said it was possible that both offences, which he described as "terrible, terrible crimes", were linked.
Police said the victim of the Kent Street murder had not yet been formally identified. Forensic examination of the fire scene and the surrounding street is under way.